Literature review is a required part of thesis which critically revises books and articles published on the topic of investigation. It is done through reading resources, then summarizing, comparing and grouping them. Sounds easy? Far from it!
I started my thesis literature review by looking for resources in different databases and websites last year and could find … 2 credible scholarly articles. One can imagine how totally frustrated and scared I was! I talked to my professor and she gave me a very useful tip – change the key words for a synonymic or a close-in-the-meaning phrase. Also, she added that it is often enough to find one or two really good articles and then look through their reference lists – usually loads of great relevant resources can be found this way.
After I got about 10-12 articles on my topic, one more challenge came up – I did not have any idea how to organize them. So, I watched some experts’ videos online on how to write a literature review. As a result, I re-read everything thoroughly, highlighted the main ideas and the extracts I particularly liked. Then little by little the picture of the literature review and the overall idea began to appear in my mind and I could group the resources into three sections which were interconnected and complementary. Then lastly, I wrote the introduction, conclusion and reference list. It is important to revise the APA rules before or while writing a literature review and not to forget to include all the resources into the bibliography.
To my mind, the more you read on the topic, the faster you realize what your literature review should look like. Only remember to keep in mind the research question and stay focused on it to avoid wasting the time on the irrelevant literature. I also found convenient making a mind map of ideas while reading. And last bot not the least – try to include different perspectives and illustrate areas which araise inquiry.
Image taken from http://www.oneheartceremonies.com/write-my-literature-review/